The two series form part of a larger body of work called ‘Trapped’, in which the Spanish artist looks at how we interact with our surroundings. The human body is always an important element in her work, often functioning as a vehicle to bring her sculptures to life. In ‘Portraits’ (shown below) the faces of her subjects are swaddled in their own hair, so they become virtually indistinguishable from one another. Featured in identical poses and clothes, any signs of their individual identities are concealed. Stripped of a human gaze, they seem to become like inanimate objects, emotionless and static. She explains “the subjects appear with the most animal aspect of the body, the hair, covering the part that shows their rational aspect, the face, or the gaze.”
Unlike ‘Portraits’, where hair serves to isolate the figure, ‘Dialogues’ (shown below) differs in its use of hair to physically bind two figures together. Del Castillo describes this merging of two figures as “symbolic of the union of two beings, the idea of complete intimacy, but at the same time, of complete dependence and isolation”.
The conjoined figures face inwards, excluding the viewer. Del Castillo uses this to represent the private, insular nature of relationships, the idea of disconnection from the outside world. As del Castillo states, in this instance “the hair is like a dialogue, a connection”.
“The subjects appear with the most animal aspect of the body, the hair, covering the part that shows their rational aspect, the face, or the gaze.”
Naia del Castillo
Text Emma de Clercq Images Naia del Castillo Website